There are more than 30 million cars on our roads, with the vast majority taxed and insured. But what does the law-abiding motorist get for playing by the rules? Nothing short of being driven round the bend.
Petrol prices have just topped £1.40 a litre. There’s the congestion charge in London and tolls to drive on the M6, cross the Thames and get into Wales.
Then there’s the ridiculous and confusing parking rules imposed by different councils – that’s if you can find somewhere to stop in the first place. And to top it all, car insurance premiums are going through the roof, making it all the more important to vote with your feet and switch your insurer.
But even if you put all of this to one side, there’s still plenty to get angry about. Speed cameras, wheel clampers and endless yellow lines policed by overzealous meter maids which all combine to empty what’s left of your wallet or purse.
Frustration behind the wheel
Driving is no fun either. There’s so much junk on the roads. Motorways are cluttered with signs. There are ever-changing variable speed limits that require you to spend far longer than can be safe checking your speedo.
These limits are even more infuriating when they are imposed to protect vast rows of cones, but there aren’t any workers because they’ve all gone home.
I can’t be alone in having missed my turn-off because of all the road signs for cultural sites, warnings to cut my speed and so on. This means I have to drive miles out of my way, using up loads more petrol just to come back on myself.
Our roads need a rethink
Is there any wonder motorists are likely to overreact when they are cut up, snapped by a speed camera or are just tired from concentrating on it all?
Surely it’s time for someone in control to take a fresh look at what’s happening on our roads and implement strategies to make life a little more bearable for those of us who drive.